Damn! More years keeping The Standard running now await. It is going to be a bit more difficult as the job I’m now in will require more travel. I will need another techhead as a more operational backstop.
Personally I think that the main issue with Labour was the one that prevented me from party voting for them. Their shambolic performance in caucus over the last 6 years drove me to vote for the Greens. I really cannot abide incompetence. Nor do voters. Playing political games in Wellington might be important to those participating, but it just turns voters and activists off.
Labour’s team finally started to work well over the last 5-6 months. Essentially once McCarten went in and started to make them work together. Policies look good, but they really needed to be bedded down a lot earlier. Six months of effective performance hardly make up for the five and half years of backbiting crap that went on previously.
I will be voting for Cunliffe in the forthcoming Labour leaders election. Not so much for him (although he improved a lot through the campaign), but more for the team he has (finally) built and which Labour will need in the next 3 years.
The Greens did their usual competent performance and lost out on election day to either a lack of turnout of their voters or some over polling. They really really need to start to deal with that issue at the ground level. Time to build a better canvassing system and to get more reliable volunteers. Learn from Greenpeace or borrow from Labour.
Now my vote is back up for grabs again. Fortunately this time Labour will have a sitting leader contesting the election (I still think that Goff was mistaken to stand down in 2011). I suspect that other contenders aren’t likely to have much of a chance.
It isn’t like any other possible have managed to cover themselves with glory either. For instance my electorate MP David Shearer, even with the clipping of the Labour leaning Grey Lynn where I live, looks like he has actually dropped his majority. It is a bit hard to vote for a candidate who is slowly losing Mt Albert, in my view mostly because he works on his campaigns far too late. When I worked on Mt Albert campaigns planning started right after the last election. Results count to activists.
The results in Auckland Central (on the other side of the road) for instance look somewhat better. The same boundary change that gifted Mt Albert with Grey Lynn left Central with what looked like a perfect enclave for Nikki Kaye. But Jacinda and her team (not including me) have done a pretty well even on the lower turnouts of a fully urban electorate. Certainly the seat isn’t safe for National.
Clayton Cosgrove is gone. I am afraid that It is a pity that Clayton Cosgrove is not gone. I would shed no tears. He has been one of those people who can’t seem to bear to just work for the stability of the party and the caucus. Playing political games might be a lot of fun. However those types of political maneuvering really distract the public and waste time for the activist in the party. From what I saw of him he confused tactical effort for strategic work.
It was pretty much the same with the Internet Mana party. A lot of noise and a pathetic result. Before the specials they managed to get just a few thousand above the Mana result from 2011.
All in all a disappointing election. For the National party as well after the party is over.
They husked out the remainder of the party votes for United Future and Act. United Future with 4533 party votes only narrowly escaped losing to Ban1080’s 4368 party votes on the night. Act’s 14510 votes continues to fall.
The Maori party did surprisingly well in their party votes. I thought that they’d drop quite a lot more. After specials are counted they will be just below their 2011 tally.
National obviously haven’t managed to affect the slow rise of the Conservatives, probably mostly because they haven’t managed to clutch them in their vote sucking coalition embrace. That will become dangerous for National whenever it starts to wither with support. Their ‘wasted’ party vote pushed National to having (at present) a actual majority in the house. They’re liable to find that the conservatives can eat into Nationals voters just as easily.
NZ First is the real winner on the night. With a slew of second term MPs, they will be a interesting party to watch as they try to organise them into a cohesive fighting team. I suspect that they are likely to avoid National’s deadly coalition and/or MOU embrace.
That leaves National with a few votes in the house provided by their two gutted sockpuppet parties and the probably the Maori party. Whipping will be tighter this term for them than it was in the last.
Especially as the economy is probably going to start tanking, and dirty politics will haunt them. All over the next 6 months.
Updated: Corrected a tired from last night error. Clayton Cosgrove is back in. I just wish he was gone. Quite simply he appears to have been a major problem inside caucus and outside with media for quite some time. I seem to keep tracing many of the silly screwups and diversions in the Labour caucus back to him.